Why you should make the switch to non-toxic nail polish

Have you ever considered how the nail polish you choose has a direct impact on your overall health?

multicolour nail polish bottles with timber cap with glass nail file in black sleeve and nail polish remover bottle by sienna on white background

Our bodies, skin and nails are delicate and can be easily aggravated and damaged by harsh chemicals and toxins found in everyday products. With more information and knowledge coming to light about how certain chemicals affect our bodies and the common items they are found in, the desire to find safe alternatives has heavily increased. This is especially true in the cosmetic industry which is one of the reasons Sienna nail polish was born. Our mission is to create clean, non-toxic nail polish that is safer to use and poses less risks to our health.

Sadly, many of the chemicals used to give that high-shine and long-lasting finish to your manicure and pedicure can be harsh on the body. So as the demand for non-toxic nail polish has increased in recent years, our understanding as to why it’s important to be careful about what we put on our fingers and toes has increased too. Whether you’re going for a hot pink or a neutral nude, we now know that traditional nail polishes are full of toxic chemicals that should be avoided.

What is non-toxic nail polish?

What does “non-toxic” mean with regards to nail polish? Many nail polishes contain lots of nasty chemicals that negatively impact our health. It’s not only the toxic ingredients that cause concern with most common nail polishes, the fumes they release are enough to provide a health risk too. Anyone who has stepped into an everyday nail salon will have experienced the barrage of fumes and assault on the senses caused by the use of chemical heavy products. A non-toxic nail polish is one that seeks to eliminate these toxins.

It is difficult to produce a 100 percent chemical-free and 100 percent natural nail polish, but there are brands that are committed to doing their absolute best to keep these harmful chemicals to a minimum, ensuring customers can still get their desired slick of colour whilst maintaining strong and healthy nails, toxin-free.

The top toxic ingredients in nail polish to look out for and avoid

There are five main chemicals commonly found in nail polish deemed to be particularly harmful to our health. Of these five, three are referred to as the ‘toxic trio’ and are considered the worst offenders found in many typical nail polishes.
Formaldehyde: This is the chemical responsible for keeping your manicure fresh for longer and it’s what makes your nail polish harden. But it’s also a strong preservative, steriliser, and an embalming chemical.

Toluene: Derived from petroleum/coal tar, this is the chemical responsible for keeping your polish smooth. Exposure to this has been linked to liver and kidney damage, anaemia and a decreased blood cell count.

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP): This chemical is responsible for decreasing the brittle nature of nail polish when hardened, essentially what helps you remain ‘chip. However, this ingredient is linked to a variety of reproductive issues.

Formaldehyde Resin: A derivative of Formaldehyde, this variant is used to help keep a polish hard and smooth however it is also a carcinogen and allergen.

Camphor: This lab-created neurotoxin can cause seizures if ingested and is proven to cause liver damage when absorbed into the skin.

Other nasty ingredients to look out for are xylene and triphenyl phosphate, ethyl and parabens. These can cause allergic reactions, including skin irritation and damage to the nervous system. Ethyl tosylamide is also incredibly toxic for our environment because it remains in the ecosystem forever, never breaking down.

Many nail polish brands are now labelled as 3-free, 5-free, 7-free and more based on how many of these chemicals have been left out of their formulas. However, without a regulatory body for this type of branding it is common now for brands to include as much as possible in the ‘x free’ calculation and even sometimes include ingredients that are not commonly found in nail polish. We’ve therefore decided to not label our polish and let our ingredients list speak for itself. For more information, check out our other post, 7-free, 10-free, 12-free nail polish explained which goes into more detail about our non-toxic nail polish labeling.

“We are proud to be able to say that our nail polish has always been free of the toxins most commonly found in nail polish as well as Benzophenone-1, a chemical often linked to cancer.

caucasian woman wearing white nail polish by sienna

Nailing the right polish

At Sienna we love an at-home manicure and pedicure and if you’re anything like us, you’ll want your nails to look amazing without compromising your health. So, when it comes to picking your polish, it’s well worth doing your research. We are passionate about using non-toxic ingredients that will protect both the planet and your health. Our carefully curated selection of non-toxic nail polish is here to give you beautiful nails, with no nasties, all you need to do is worry about which colour to choose. We believe in transparency so while we promise to never use the nasty ingredients listed above, you can find a list of the ingredients you will find in our products on our frequently asked questions and within each product page description.

We are the very first nail polish company globally, to achieve both Australian Certified Toxic-free and Allergy Certified certification from Made safe.

base coat and top coat nail polish view from the top on white granite plate

Sustainable beauty at your fingertips

We understand it’s important for you to be mindful and consider all the products you use on a regular basis and we are here to help you make those informed choices.”

People and planet are everything to us. Designed in Australia with sustainability at the centre of everything we do, our range of non-toxic organic nail polish colours are packaged in an environmentally friendly way; from the wooden caps that seal our product in tight to the recyclable glass bottle that house it. Our Australian nail polish products are driven by ethics and the environment. Every item purchased from Sienna is completely vegan and cruelty-free, and our products are proudly free of micro-plastic glitter.

Everything in our collection is designed in Australia; our timber is locally sourced, keeping our carbon footprint low, in addition to supporting our local economy. Sienna is very proud to be accredited by a number of independent, internationally recognised auditing bodies who verify we meet the high standards we set for ourselves.

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